Cross-training is an important process of becoming better at any sport. When it comes to gymnastics, this is no different. While intense training and hours in the gymnastics studio are important for success in gymnastics, so are exercises outside of the studio.
These are some of the exercises you should do at the gym to make sure that you are building strength, balance, flexibility, and more.
The side plank is an excellent gymnastics training exercise because it strengthens the muscles on the sides of your body, like your obliques, which are key for many gymnastics skills. It is also a great balance exercise, which is crucial for gymnastics.
This is another great exercise for the muscles on the sides of your body. It specifically targets your hip abductors, which are the muscles that help you lift your legs to the side. Gymnasts use their abductors to perform skills like the straddle jump and the split leap, so building strength is crucial.
The hollow hold strengthens your core muscles, which are key for many skills. This move also helps you hold positions for longer periods of time, which can be great for supporting moves like the walkover.
Most people think of push-ups as an arm exercise, but they are actually great for your whole body. They help to strengthen your chest and shoulders, which are key for moves like the handstand.
Romanian deadlifts are a great exercise for building strength in your hamstrings, which are key for improving your back walkover and the back handspring. You'll also build strength in your back, which is great for moves like the back tuck.
Injury prevention is key to building gymnastics skills. You can prevent injury by improving your range of motion and teaching your body how to move safely. The squat is helpful for building these skills and preventing glute, hamstring, and knee injuries.
Lunges are another great injury prevention exercise. They help to improve your range of motion and flexibility, which can help you avoid injury when performing skills like the round-off.
Take a Gymnastic Class to Put Your Strength to Use
Once you've built up strength with these exercises, it's time to put your new skills to the test. The best way to do this is by taking a gymnastics class. You'll learn proper technique and form so you can perform each move safely.